Important to Switch Gears: Talk about Choices We Make Behind the Wheel

Q: Do you talk about choices as they relate to traffic safety? Do you understand how risky driver behaviors can affect liability exposure at your workplace?

A: Let’s examine why your answer here should be yes on all counts and tie the explanation to the importance of staying focused behind the wheel during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.

Employers pay for crashes whether they occur on or off the job. Now, think beyond the dollars and try to make sense of the wreckage. The human toll is one that cannot be quantified. Much of the pain comes as a result of our own choices, including cell phone use while behind the wheel.

Research indicates distraction persists long after you finish using voice commands to make a call or send a text. Your mind is still on the phone. This phenomenon is known as “inattention blindness.” Think of it as driving blindfolded. Would you trust yourself – let alone others – to do that?

Teach at your workplace: Use an app to block calls. Protect yourself and all those around you on the road. Doing so can protect your organization, too. Watch: Why Every Workplace Needs a Cell Phone Policy.

Distraction is anything that diverts your attention away from the task at hand – driving.

Manual distractions: eating, drinking and grooming
Cognitive distractions: talking on the phone (handheld or hands-free) and daydreaming
Some other ways you can connect with your staff:

Learn: Hands-Free is Not Risk-Free
Upload to your workplace video monitor: Distracted Driving: Your Employees Can Protect Themselves & Others

— Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council